Take a hands-on approach and terrorize the swamps, seas, and coasts in a display worthy of even the most extreme Shark Week.
Genre: RPG, Action
Developer: Tripwire Interactive
Publisher: Tripwire Interactive
Release date: 31 August, 2021
I’d heard about Maneater from one of my fellow writers and I instantly knew that I had to play it. An over-the-top, open-world, action RPG with Jerry from Rick & Morty narrating it as if it were a completely ridiculous documentary? Yes, please!
To my surprise, the experience wasn’t fueled purely by ridiculous moments and dumb humor. Both of these were present, of course, and they were great, but the gameplay itself stood on its own two legs (maybe fins?) and I ended up having a great time even outside of the comedic elements. It felts something like a gruesome, shark-based Grand Theft Auto.
The experience was short-lived though as I completed it and a good portion of the optional objectives within an eight-hour window. I found myself wanting more though and Truth Quest answered that call with gusto.
The Anatomy of the Atomic Shark
Truth Quest is primarily an extension of Maneater’s already solid gameplay. It lengthens its playtime while throwing in a few new pieces of content to be enjoyed along the way. First and foremost, you can swim off of the main map to reach a new region known as Plover Island. New quests and discoveries are available here including a new mission type that requires you to race from point to point within a time limit. I like that the DLC attempted to not just lengthen the vanilla experience but add to it, but the new quest types were mostly less entertaining than those we originally had. Fortunately, they’re mixed in with the familiar ones that we’ve been used to so they’re not overly intrusive on the experience as a whole.
Our old friend, Trip Westhaven, continues his role as the narrator and he continues to be absolutely excellent. This time around, he’s found himself convinced of a number of conspiracy theories that he spouts off about throughout, so I can’t imagine anyone would think that was anything other than a plus. Although Trip’s pretty out there with his theories involving insectoid and alien overlords running things behind the scenes, he’s not entirely off base with his suspicions that something shady is going on at Plover. You’ll face off against sea creatures who have mutated, much like yourself, thanks to the activities of the shadier human folk. These offer far greater challenges than what you were facing off against in previous regions. Even better, they also provide exciting new evolutions for your to make use of after turning them into lunch. There are quite a few new options available, but nothing stuck with me quite like being able to charge up and spit a green cloud of radiation at your enemies. By the midpoint of this DLC, you’ve evolved from a mutated monster shark into something out of a Godzilla movie.
Another nice touch offered by Truth Quest is that it has its own infamy track. This means that new human “bosses” can be lured out as you cause chaos around the island. Like the super-mutants, these enemies offer new upgrades unique to the DLC when you defeat them. With an increased level cap and an additional organ slot to unlock, there are plenty of new combinations to break out for your megashark’s build. I often leaned toward a mix-and-match combination, though my time going full atomic with its damage and damage reduction stacking bonuses were always tempting. Just don’t sell out and replace the most entertaining though questionably useful amphibian ability. There’s nothing quite like hopping around on land and becoming everyone’s worst nightmare – a land shark.
Truth Quest performs admirably in extending the Maneater experience for those sharks that are still hungry for more. New challenges await, some being great additions while others would have been better left on the drawing board, but it’s mostly more of what we loved from the Maneater itself. The Maneater experience is a ride and a half and is unique enough from any other title that I’ve played that I have to recommend it, along with Truth Quest, to anyone who’s tempted by the concept overall. Truth Quest is a great excuse to dive back in if you’ve already got a shark hibernating out in those seas somewhere that’s still longing more blood and Chris Parnell commentary. For those who haven’t dabbled yet, I’d recommend getting your hands on the base game first and deciding where you want to go from there; it’s a fantastic expansion but one that’s only going to provide something if you already enjoy the game that it’s attached to.